Saturday, November 26, 2011

Teacher Comments

Below is what some students had to say about their classes and the wonderful teachers that lead them!

“I never thought a man as big as Nick could dance like an excited 10 year old!” – Puneeth Kumar

“Dancing is a lot of fun. A new volunteer named Nanja teaches us. She is an amazing dancer!” – Anjali

“Nick teaches us History. He makes the class really fun.” – Aravind

“Darius takes Civics for us. He too is very just and kind.” – Aravind

“I forgot to tell you about my new English teacher who is also our coordinator. Her name is Ms Rahil. She is a very good English teacher. Even though I am bad at English, I really enjoy her classes. However, she is also very strict.” – Naveen

“Rahil teaches us English and her classes are nice.” – Ashwath

“Mr Nick and Darius make our history and civics classes fun.” – Papitha

“Nanja is an awesome dancer and taught us 3 beautifully choreographed dances.” – Papitha

“A volunteer named Nanja teaches us dancing. She is really good. We have learned 3 dances to really cool songs.” – Vijayalakshmi

“I enjoyed Nick and his puppet Michael the most” – Anushya (about Children’s Day)

“There are also some volunteers who are very fun and talented. One of these volunteers Nanja takes dance classes for us.” – Lakshmi

“Rahil is the volunteer coordinator. She is fun and dances really well. She takes English classes for us. Her teaching is fun. We watched a movie in her class. We all like her.” – Nandini

“Rahil is currently the volunteer coordinator. She is very positive and kind!” – Sunil

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diwali Celebrations at Shanti Bhavan

"Boom! Bam." I thought I was going to turn deaf. Who cared? It was Diwali after all.

Everyone was so excited from morning. It was a holiday and we slept in. For breakfast we had idlis and hmmm well, I thought I'd rather skip the day’s events and head straight to the celebrations at night.

We were all ready for the evening's show. Unfortunately it started drizzling so we had the cultural program, organized by the children, in the assembly hall instead of having it outside in the dining hall like last year. There was so much fun watching children of different age groups dancing to music varying from Tamil folk dance to Chris Brown's 'Kiss Kiss.'

After the programme was over, we had a quick dinner of vegetable pulav and got ready for the most awaited part of the day. Everyone gathered on the lawn outside the dining hall and waited for the grown-ups to equally distribute the different kinds of sparklers and crackers.

Screams of excitement filled the air. The smaller kids lighted their sparklers, and the older ones preferred the crackers and missiles. The night turned into day, as darkness was replaced by the light from all the lighting. It was such a joy to watch the kindergartners who are new to the school light their first Diwali sparklers and scream with joy as they whirled it before them. Seeing their excitement reminded me of my first Diwali night long ago in Shanti Bhavan when the loud sounds and lights scared me.

As I stood next to my friends, turning a sparkler, I realized that this was going to be my last Diwali at school before graduation, and my classmates and I were ready to make the most of it.

Unlike me, those who were adventurous lit crackers and sent rockets into the sky. I stepped back to see them fly into the distance and burst into different colors. We were having so much fun.

I wished Diwali night would last forever. It was a very special day for me because this festival of lights had brought teachers, aunties, children, some of the graduates, volunteers, and the support staff together. It was a day I will always cherish in my heart.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Student Poems

I am from
I am from the eyes of my mother,
the tears of my sister,
and the words of my uncle.

I am from the broken thumb of my grandpa,
the burning clothes of my mother,
and the cuts on her hands.

I am from the light in the dark,
the flowers in Shanti Bhavan,
and the warmth of my aunties.

I am from the letters of the alphabet,
the colors of the rainbow,
and the days of the week.

I am from the hopes of my family,
my grandpa selling cucumbers,
and the dusty roads of Tamil Nadu.

- Puneeth Kumar, 9th Grade

A poor woman in the street
sitting and waiting,
mostly hoping,
someone would buy the deep fried fish
she has pinned her hope on.

A drunken man who made her his wife
with a promise of a better life
washed it away with his bottles of liquor.

Trucks go by
Buses honk
Vendors push their half empty carts
her eyes darts all over the passers-by
someone would buy the deep fried fish
she has pinned her hope on.

I stay at home
waiting for that knock that I have grown used to
she enters looking tired
I see the lights of the vehicles in her eyes
and the dust of the street on her hair
I see hope in her smile
but this time it's not pinned on the deep fried fish
It's pinned on me.

- Venu, 5th Grade

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stories 1

The kids were asked to answer the question: What was your first experience with art? Here are some of their lovely responses.

The first time I sat in the art room, I knew that art would turn me into someone great. Our first art teacher came into the art room and told us to sit down. She gave each of us a paintbrush, some paint, and a piece of paper. She shifted our desks into a circular shape. In the middle, she kept one desk, and on top of it, she kept a flower vase. She told us to try and paint a picture of the vase. It looked really complicated. As I started to paint bit by bit, I could see her staring at me with the corner of my eye. As I looked up and turned to her, she smiled at me. When I told her that it was difficult, she just kept smiling and then said, “Try, try, try, until you succeed.” As I kept those words in my mind, I started to paint. When I finished, I went and showed it to her. She said that my painting was the best. I was so happy! Then at dinnertime she came up to me and said, “Saranya, I cut a piece of your painting.” I was shocked. Then she said, “Please don’t be sad. The piece of your painting is going to be stuck on Dr. George’s birthday card! “ I felt that art could do a lot for me in my life.

By: Saranya

Shanti Bhavan, 6th grade

When Mary Mitchell first came to Shanti Bhavan, she played us songs from Dhoom Machale and Titanic. I loved her way of playing the piano. I loved the way the music that she played kept my friends happy, interactive, and excited. In my mind I thought one day, I will get to play the piano and I will be like Mary. In the 5th grade I said to myself, “You will never get to play the piano,” and then I heard the word “piano” which distracted me from my negative thoughts. It was Mrs. Ruth asking us who wants to learn the piano. Eighteen hands shot into the air. All eighteen hands restlessly waiting to be chosen. Then Mrs. Ruth saw me and asked, “Yeshwini, do you want to play the piano?” My heartbeat was 5X more than the normal heartbeat. All seventeen eyes looked at me eagerly waiting for my answer. With an excited voice, I said, “Yes!” Then Mrs. Ruth smiled at me and wrote my name on the board. I was full of mixed feelings. I wondered how easy or difficult it is to play the piano. At 4:00 pm, Mrs. Ruth called me and told Katherine to be my teacher. After my first lesson, I thought playing the piano is not as easy as you think. I walked out of the music room with a tired mind. Till now, I try my best to get to the level Mary Mitchell plays and I know I will.

By: Yeshwini

Shanti Bhavan, 7th grade